It’s no secret that here at Worship Metal we’re unapologetic thrash junkies with an unquenchable thirst to find all that’s fast, loud and face melting.
Every once in a while we might errantly turn over a rock and find a proverbial rattlesnake coiled up and ready to strike. The rattlesnake in question is the band Expander, a roving band of dimension hopping outlaws that return to our plane of existence intermittently to short circuit our synapses.
Amidst the chaos of last summer they released the aptly titled Neuropunk Boostergang through Profound Lore Records and if you want the review I can tell you this: it ain’t your daddy’s thrash metal!!!
It’s not easy getting in touch with beings that have prices on their heads in five different realities, but through some very questionable contacts I was able to acquire the equipment I needed to transmit to the approximate location where Expander is currently laying low. As luck would have it the Levogyre Mechalord himself, General Ham responded. Despite having the PSYCHOTIC crimerank of 7.66 and repeated warnings from MegaCorp to not engage, the General was surprisingly affable about providing Worship Metal with insight into the Expander lore and mythology for transmission back to the sheltered confines of planet Earth.
Worship Metal: Greetings General, so jumping right into things: can you tell us exactly what a “Waste Ranger” is?
General Ham: In the Neuropunk Boostergang timeline, General Ham, Swirly, Guzzler and Keymaster have found themselves banished to the wastelands outside of Re-Earth Quadrant 4. In these areas beyond the Obsoletor guarded megawalls, bio-engineered mercenaries patrol, arrest and berate non-citizens who scheme to enter the lush, habitable technocity zones illegally. Some of these Waste Rangers have been hacked by Expandroid Field Explorers, or charmed by practitioners of stolen Pythagor anti-magic, and converted to rejunkulization specialists for microfuel accreditation and renewal.
Worship Metal: That’s very interesting to say the least. So you mentioned timelines, does Neuropunk Boostergang exist in a different timeline from (debut LP) Endless Computer?
General Ham:………::::scrambled radio interference::::………
Worship Metal: General? Are you still with us?
General Ham: Sorry for the delayed response. SyBar Industries has managed to rescramblify our war terminal access points so transmissions are spotty. Yes, that’s correct. Well, during the ….. BZZSDTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT…… Laws of Power E.P. we see the origins & formation of the true terratimeline in which you will still find yourself (I believe in Earthyear 2021?). Then the story of one of our main oversoul contacts (IDENTITY REDACTED) is told on the Expander 7″ – once accessing the spawn-point near the Harding icefield, this is the formation of the deviant crimesquad unit in which we roll …….CRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRKSADRUUUUUKKKKKKKKK…….. and the pre-cursor to the Neuropunk Boostergang.
Endless Computer explores the full lock-down of humanity enforced by various entities, the erection of Authority Spires and construction of incubating mechanized death-canals. We were able to flee this (eventual) illusory r-type 2 civilization parallel with chosen lunkerhead clones by engaging cold orbit stasis. This has us transported to where I contact you now – from the deepwastes outside New Vegas Minibloc. We’re currently waiting for the next mission directives from Titor2036 but if by our current bio-blueprinting we can stay oxygenated long enough to infiltrate Minbo Spaceport, we might have a shot of resetting this grotesque future-split.
Worship Metal: Definitely some interesting information for our readers to digest, haha. A little bit of a silly question but with the vibe that y’all have going on, ever thought about expanding (pun intended) into comic books and action figures?
General Ham: Hah that question is pretty on-point for the fact that we’ve already decided that our next release will include a comic book type insert or extra. The artist has already been confirmed, we’ll just need to story-board it out for them and of course write and record the album that it will accompany haha. Expect it to uncover some more about the Expander universe and lore about the landscapes, devices, creatures and futurisms within.
As far as action figures, well no but that’s actually a pretty cool idea.
GENERAL HAM, Levogyre Mechalord, comes equipped with proxy robosis schematics datadisK & Hoole Personal Assistant. KEYMASTER, Industry Mutineer, sports quadruple barrel slime-rifle, ultrashock lifeleech caltrops and self detonating incisors. GUZZLER, FTCorp Superuser, carries in tow a crypto-trunk containing the following: Centroid Advanced Breathwarez Mask, 32oz. Waste Ranger anti-detection dust, jigglers + scrapers, & 50,000 bloks LTC v 3.xxxx9. Swirly, VIN 1HGCM82633A004352, comes piloting the Hellvan Artifact Vehicle with two T.H.U.G. Replicant passengers (extras sold separately) and a Super MechaBaseball 3020 catcher’s mitt.
Worship Metal: Okay, I do apologize if I sound like an overdramatic fanboy, but where the hell do y’all come up with these ideas? It’s like a methed out RoboCop got booked for a barbed wire death match against a dopesick Judge Dredd and to be honest I fucking love it.
General Ham: Well, that’s basically it. We all grew up on those kick-ass Verhoeven sci-fi/action flicks, video games like Shadowrun, literature like N. Stephenson, Wolfe, Gibson, the ideas of visionaries like Paul Laffoley & Stelarc. Mix that with random subthreads from Magic the Gathering / Dungeons & Dragons and throw our own brand of in-house humor on top, then I guess you’ve got the bastard amalgamation of what we’re trying to create. One of the best reviews we ever got was simply: “If the Goons from Streets of Rage formed a band it would be this…”.
Worship Metal: Ha, that’s ironic that you mention that because when I first saw the band pictures for Neuropunk Boostergang it gave off strong Boddicker Gang vibes.
General Ham: Oh man, classic there. Glad our photos could invoke that comparison! We went to take new band pics at this junkyard near my house. Now, I know it’s a junkyard to begin with but this place was extra crusty & junky. The “office” was just a splintered wooden board resting on two mini-towers of greasy tires. I asked if it was cool if we could come in tomorrow and take some shots and the dude working looked at me like I was crazy and said “well, as long as you don’t get hurt, it shouldn’t be a problem, let me get the boss.” So the bossman says to me that’s no issue, I just need to sign a waiver. The next day we show up fully geared out for the shoot and the boss who gave me the OK is nowhere around and everyone else working seems really hesitant to let us inside. But luckily just as I was going to go to plan-B, he rolled up in his pick-up and gave me the OK. As I’m walking away from him I turn around and say, “oh yeah, by the way, we have weapons… shotgun, shells, swords and stuff…. is it still cool?”… he just nodded and drove off totally unfazed. This is Texas, after all, haha. And by the way, we never signed any waivers.
Worship Metal: Speaking of Texas, what can you tell us about living there? Only been through the Panhandle once and it was quite the eye opening experience for an Indiana boy. Would definitely like to go back there.
General Ham: Yeah the panhandle is pretty crazy and different from central Texas here. There’s a really beautiful state park up there called Palo Duro Canyon that I like to camp and hike when I’m up there. That’s where the weather gets real volatile, I saw a twister up there when I was road tripping. Pretty scary.
Worship Metal: Neuropunk Boostergang is Expander’s first release as artists on the Profound Lore Records roster. Could you tell us a little bit about how that relationship came to fruition?
General Ham: The Profound Lore relationship was started by Keymaster cold emailing them, oddly enough. We had PL on our list of potential labels we’d like to work with on NPBG. Chris was friendly and inquisitive from the get-go and so we shared some early demos, which he was stoked on, and it also helped that he was familiar with our Endless Computer album on Nuclear War Now. I don’t think PL deals much with thrash (or adjacent) bands but it seemed he thought that our atypical nature would be an intriguing addition to the roster. Nothing but the most positive experience working with Profound Lore.
Worship Metal: With the state of the world being what it is as of the time of this interview, there’s definitely a light at the end of the tunnel. Now that it’s becoming feasible for recording artists to start looking towards the future, what are some of Expander’s future plans?
General Ham: We’re about to get back into our regular practice schedule and start writing the next release. In the meantime we’ll be recording a video for the title track “Neuropunk Boostergang” as well as releasing a few choice remixes from Steve Moore, Missionary Work and more. Beyond that we really would like to get out of Texas and play some gigs far and wide. As we’ve witnessed, we can’t be taking these opportunities for granted any longer. Plus we’re getting old haha. If you’re reading this and want Expander to destroy your zones, please reach out.
Worship Metal: Thank you for risking your life and freedom to do this interview with us, General. My trans dimensional fluctual communicant is getting ready to fade out on my end. Any parting words that you’d like to leave readers with?
General Ham: Many thanks to Worship Metal for the conversation and shoutouts to all junkfreaks, runelads, and timezappers worldwide. This parallel crumbles to make way for a prime future. Reach forward, stay curious, deflect the blasts.
Neuropunk Boostergang is available now!!!!! For information on purchasing this and other Expander augmentors, head over to their Bandcamp!!!!!!